With approximately 720,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses having been administered, Utah is
slowly entering a major shift in how the state will be conducting the distribution of the vaccine.
In March, Utah’s government “estimates the state will receive 1.2 million doses of COVID-19
vaccine.” With this exponential increase in supply, the issue now becomes demand for the
vaccine; however frustrating it may be, some citizens may have false ideas about the three major
vaccines in circulation (Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson), which may discourage them from getting vaccinated.
Put in the simplest terms possible, unless you have very specific allergies (in which case,
immediately go see your physician to make sure you are safe to take the vaccine) that may cause
a potentially fatal reaction, the fastest and most effective way to end the COVID-19 pandemic is
for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The fact of the matter is that the COVID-19
vaccines that have been FDA approved have identical chances of serious side effects (0.6%) as
any other form of vaccination does. Not only do they rarely cause allergic reaction, but the
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines only contain five ingredients: mRNA for SARS-CoV-2, salt and
amines, sugar, and lipids.
Setting other, less substantiated claims about the vaccine aside, we as a student body
must take responsibility for ensuring our more vulnerable family members are aware of the
vaccines’ efficacy. While we may be getting constant alerts about the pandemic’s ever-rising
death toll on our phones, and how the vaccine has already led to fewer COVID-19 cases outright,
our older relatives may be misinformed as they intake false or skewed information from fringe media sources. I urge all West High students to firstly encourage all of your loved ones,
especially those who are most vulnerable to health complications, to get vaccinated, as well as to
get vaccinated yourselves when possible.
For anybody unsure how to set up an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination, please
visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution/#eligibility. Be aware that currently,
vaccines are only available for healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff,
first responders, K-12 teachers and staff, people ages 65 and older, as well as anybody over the age of sixteen with certain underlying medical conditions. These conditions can also be found on the same webpage.